Vandy downs Gators, 17-6

No. 1 Vanderbilt (38-8/14-6 SEC) snapped a 6-6 tie with an RBI single in the sixth by freshman Andrew Giobbi (2-for-4) and exploded for nine runs in the seventh on its way to a 17-6 victory over Florida (23-22/10-10 SEC) on a sun-splashed Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Field.

The win clinched the series for the Commodores and moved them into a tie for the Southeastern Conference lead with Arkansas (34-12/14-6 SEC), which dropped an 11-9 decision at Auburn.

Vanderbilt had jumped out a 6-1 lead in the first before the Gators tied the game in the fourth. Junior Ty Davis (1-0) logged a career-high seven innings in relief of freshman starter Mike Minor to earn the decision. He scattered four hits, matched his personal best of seven strikeouts and permitted one earned run. The Commodores totaled 19 hits, as junior Dominic de la Osa went 4-for-5 with four RBI and three runs, sophomore Pedro Alvarez was 3-for-5 with three runs and two RBI and sophomore Ryan Flaherty was 3-for-5 with two runs and drove in a pair of runs.

Florida broke the ice against Minor in the first inning on a two-out RBI infield single by junior Jon Townsend (London, Ky.). Freshman Cole Figueroa (Tallahassee, Fla.) opened the game with a base-hit into left and was sacrificed into scoring position on a bunt by freshman Clayton Pisani (Naples, Fla.) before taking third on a grounder by senior Brian Leclerc (Clearwater, Fla.). Townsend beat out a single to short to give the Gators the early advantage.

In their first turn at the plate, the Commodores had 11 batters answered with six runs on six hits against junior Bryan Augenstein (Sebastian, Fla.) to seize a 6-1 lead. Junior David Macias led off with a double to left and junior Alex Feinberg drew a walk before de la Osa tied the game with a RBI single into center field. Alvarez sliced a single to right to bring across Feinberg and went down to second on the relay to give the hosts two runners in scoring position. Ryan Flaherty cleared the bases with a two-run single to right for a 4-0 lead, junior Shea Robin laced a flare into shallow right field and a dribbler by senior Matt Meingasner loaded the bases with none out. Augenstein plunked junior Ryan Davis with a pitch to score Flaherty and struck out freshman Andrew Giobbi before Macias laid down a sac bunt to drive in Robin.

The Gators narrowed the gap to 6-3 in the second on an infield single by freshman Hampton Tignor (Sarasota, Fla.) and a fielder’s choice by Pisani. Freshman Jonathan Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) started the frame with a leadoff double and went to third on a fly ball to deep center by classmate Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.). Tignor picked up his fourth RBI by legging out a hit just beyond third base and Figueroa followed with a double to push his teammate to third. After Pisani’s fielder’s choice plated Tignor and Figueroa was erased in a run-down, Leclerc’s knock up the middle gave UF runners on the corners. Minor prevented further trouble by having Townsend’s grounder force Leclerc at second.

Ty Davis replaced Minor (2.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R) prior to third and Florida responded with two runs on two hits and an error to pull within 6-5. Senior Austin Pride (Longwood, Fla.) reached on an error by Feinberg and was sacrificed over by freshman Jake Hicks (Molino, Fla.). Pigott beat out a bunt to advance Pride and occupied second on a wild pitch by the reliever. den Dekker’s RBI grounder to second scored Pride and Tignor delivered his second run-scoring single to reduce the Gators’ deficit to a run.

Pride evened the score at 6-6 with a double high off the wall in left with two down in the fourth. Pisani had drawn a leadoff walk and was stagnant until Pride’s fifth two-bagger of the campaign enabled him to race around the bases with the tying run.

Augenstein retired a dozen Vanderbilt hitters in a row before de la Osa began the home part of the fifth with a single into right center. The right-hander had Alvarez ground into a 4-6-3 double play and later had Robin line out to Leclerc.

The Commodores regained the lead in the sixth on an RBI single to left by Giobbi. Meingasner opened the frame with a single just out of Pisani’s reach and moved into scoring position on a sac bunt by Ryan Davis. Giobbi poked Augenstein’s final offering of the afternoon into left for a 7-6 Vanderbilt advantage. Following the nightmarish first stanza, Augenstein (4-5) surrendered one run and four hits over the next 4.1 innings, finishing with three strikeouts and a walk. Senior David Hurst (Jacksonville, Fla.) came out of the pen and recorded the final two outs of the frame.

Vanderbilt erupted for nine runs on seven hits and two errors in the seventh by sending 13 batters to the plate to create a 16-6 cushion. de la Osa blasted his 13th homer on Hurst’s initial pitch of the inning for his second round-tripper of the series that tied him for the team lead. Alvarez and Flaherty followed with back-to-back singles and Robin dropped down a bunt to move both runners into scoring position. Hurst uncorked a wild pitch to bring in Alvarez and allow Flaherty to take third. Ryan Davis later stroked a two-out RBI single into left for a four-run lead for the hosts. Soon after, Giobbi singled and Macias was hit to load the bases. Feinberg’s potential inning-ending pop-up was dropped by Pride, allowing two more runs to cross the plate. Junior Josh Edmondson (LaGrange, Ga.) came in for Hurst (1.1 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 3 ER) and de la Osa cleared the bases with a two-run double for a 14-6 bulge. Alvarez bashed an RBI double and scored when Flaherty’s grounder was misplayed by Pisani.

Vandy scored on a wild pitch by freshman Clint Franklin (Orlando, Fla.) in the eighth to finalize the 17-6 margin. Sophomore pinch hitter Jonathan White led off with a single and junior Parker Hanks cranked a double down the left-field line. An errant pitch by the reliever allowed White to score the game’s final run. The freshmen trio of Figueroa, Pigott and Tignor had two hits apiece for the Gators. Florida will attempt to salvage the finale of the series behind freshman Billy Bullock (Valrico, Fla.) (2-4,

4.56), who will oppose Commodore junior southpaw Cody Crowell (1-1, 4.01). The game will be carried live on CSS at 2 p. m.

Courtesy UF Sports Info.